An introductory performance, preceding and preparing for the principal matter; a preliminary part, movement, strain, etc.; especially (Mus.), a strain introducing the theme or chief subject; a movement introductory to a fugue, yet independent; -- with recent composers often synonymous with overture.
To play an introduction or prelude; to give a prefatory performance; to serve as prelude.
To introduce with a previous performance; to play or perform a prelude to; as, to prelude a concert with a lively air.
To serve as prelude to; to precede as introductory.
Freedom is not won by merely overthrowing a tyrannical ruler or an oppressive regime. That is usually only the prelude to a new tyranny, a new oppression. Jonathan Sacks
Of all the seasons, winter is the most conducive to the great art of dormancy. This art requires an appreciation of semi-consciousness: the beautiful and necessary prelude to sleep - a special pleasure in itself that is all too often neglected, under-valued or looked down upon. Michael Leunig
Group conformity scares the pants off me because it's so often a prelude to cruelty towards anyone who doesn't want to - or can't - join the Big Parade. Bette Midler